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Sunday, 26 June 2016

Lunchtime Glam: Salmon and Gnocchi Salad



I've cooked from a very young age and I sometimes forget that some people don't find cooking that easy or perhaps lack the creativity to simply throw something together.

Salad is my usual option when lunching at home; and when I make a warm or cold salad, rarely are two ever the same!!

Nearly everyone nowadays is looking for the healthy option, but sometimes a healthy option can leave you feeling hungry.  Which is why I hardly ever have a salad that doesn't include carbs.  Gnocchi is a quick and easy one to add to a warm salad and you only need a few to ensure that you don't head for the biscuits a couple of hours later.

Gnocchi whilst made of potatoe is not gluten free, but if you are sensitive to gluten then there are "free from" available in supermarkets.  You also do not need to boil Gnocchi before adding to the wok, you simply stir-fry them for a good 5 mins before adding in your veg.

As for the salmon - why make life hard work - simply buy a pre-cooked Salmon which is flavoured to your liking.

In this particular salad, I've opted for:

  • Handful of Gnocchi
  • Half pack of edamame beans (I can only find these to purchase from Tesco)
  • A third of a courgette sliced
  • Handful of pitted black and green olives
  • 4-5 Brussel Sprouts
  • 4-5 Cherry tomatoes
  • Big handful of sliced greens
  • 5-10 big leaves from a fresh basil plant - I always have a plant of Basil in the kitchen (cannot live without!!)
  • Chilli flavoured salmon piece - of which I personally remove the skin


Method

  1. Heat wok and add a some Olive oil
  2. Then add Gnocchi and cook for 5 mins, stir frequently
  3. Get all you veg ready and add the edamame beans, olives, brussel spouts and cherry tomatoes and stir - allow to cook for around 2-3 minutes
  4. Grind black pepper all over and stir
  5. Then add the sliced greens and basil leaves, after 1 minute remove and add to dish
  6. Place salmon on top
  7. Eat immediately


And enjoy x





Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Lunch with Lizzi

This is my 300th post on my blog - can you believe it?!  And there is no better way to celebrate than with a new feature - Lunch with Lizzi

I'm delighted that I am joined by fellow blogger Catherine Bruce of Style & Coach who is both a Style and Image Consultant and Life Coach.  We had a lovely lunch in the beautiful grounds of Luton Hoo, and here's what we had to talk about...





What is a day in the life of Catherine? 

Very varied, no two days are the same. I arrange my own diary around work commitments, spending time with the family, having lunch with a friend, attending business networking events or enjoying a walk, a run or a cycle ride in the lovely countryside in my home in Hertfordshire or my apartment in Harrogate. 


What has been your journey? 

I am enjoying life now as a Style and Image Consultant and Life Coach after many years as an English teacher. It's a 360 degree change but the people skills I learnt in teaching have really helped me relate to and motivate clients. That's really important for the Life Coaching side of my business. I've always loved style too and I enjoy helping others to  find theirs.


Your services offer advice on styling and on life coaching - what made you join the two together? 

If you're confident and happy with how you look on the outside but not happy with what's going on inside, you can't be really happy and at peace with yourself and vice versa.  The two are so interchangeable and I love it that I can offer professional help with both if my clients want it. 


What's the best part of what you do? 

Seeing people change for the better, inside and out. 


And what's the worst? 

The effort of marketing myself! 


What do YOU get out of taking someone personal shopping? 

Seeing someone try something on they never would have considered and finding they love it. There's no better feeling than seeing clients' confidence in themselves soar when I've helped them find the clothes that make them look and feel as good as they do. 


You've taken a few ladies shopping in preparation for a wedding - what advice do you have for a soon-to-be bride? 

Understand your body shape first, then go with a personal shopper who can guide you to the styles of bridal gowns  that really enhance your shape. I see too many brides bursting out of ill fitting, unflattering dresses. 


And what tips do you have a someone who is trying to buy an outfit as a guest to a wedding? 

As above but also make sure you personalise an outfit with lovely accessories. If the worst happens and another guest is wearing your dress, then the accessories will make you look different and well put together.


How do you relax? 

Mentally by getting out in nature. Physically by reading or having a facial or massage. 


What's the best thing going on in your life right now? 

My family. 


Who's your style icon? 

Helen Mirren . She always looks amazing and understands exactly how to dress to look feminine, sexy and fabulous, especially as a mature woman.


Your a mum to four - how did you juggle everything when they were young? 

I was fortunate enough to be in position to take an 11 year career break to concentrate on being a mum. When I returned to work though, it was challenging; I used after school clubs quite a bit and got up very early in the morning to get my marking done. 


And how do you juggle it all now? 

I'm not sure I do but it's important to be organised and put 'me time' in my diary so I make sure I'm not working too hard.  I have a life coach who helps me get perspective and ensure my life's in balance. 


You have a connection with Gambia - tell us about it? 

I am voluntary secretary to www.helping-Gambia.org.uk I love the fact the charity is family run, all the money raised goes to The Gambia. The Meeks family in Hertfordshire , who started the charity have spent the last 17 years building nurseries, supporting schools  and developing a clinic and ambulances to help the poorest of people in Gambia. I loved going out there this year to do some voluntary work in the school. Anyone is welcome, we are always looking for volunteers to add whatever they can offer through helping children or fundraising here. It's safe out there and the accommodation the charity has built for volunteers is of very good standard. There are some great hotels out there too to relax in at the end of a voluntary stint, if you, like me feel the need to indulge yourself a bit.  


If someone wanted to get involved with volunteering what do they need to do? 

Please contact me - catherinetbruce @gmail.com or go onto the charity website www.helping-Gambia.org.uk to find out what's involved. 


You blogged about how there is so much colour in what they wore in Gambia - why do you think we don't adopt the same approach? 

Our climate seems to dictate our colour choices. It's dark and grey  a lot of the time in the UK so we reflect that in our clothes. Studies have shown though, that wearing colour not only brightens our mood but also shows our creativity and can lead to promotions at work. 


What three things should a professional woman own? 

A quality handbag, a wonderful haircut and a professional capsule wardrobe. You don't need loads of clothes and shoes. Investing in good quality neutral key pieces in your best colours and enlivening them with some colourful tops and accessories will give you a great working wardrobe that will transition into your social and leisure wardrobe too. 


What three things should every woman take on holiday?  

Comfortable shoes, a great dress, a beautiful pashmina. 


You look fantastic for your age - What's your secret to ageing so well? 

I'm lucky with my genes. My mother and all three of her children look younger than their age! I'm also health conscious and watch what I eat and try to exercise regularly. 


What's your favourite beauty product? 

I change a lot and don't stick to any one brand but I do like the feel and smell of anything Clarins and I love their anti ageing serum. 


How is life coaching different to counselling? 

Counselling focuses on coming to terms with events in the past. Life coaching focuses on where the client is now and what they would like to change and achieve now and in the future. 


What should someone expect from a life coaching session with you? 

A chance to express and clarify what they want to change and what's not working. Help in putting together a step by step plan to achieve new goals and dreams and help to overcome limiting beliefs that hold a person back from realising them.


Who motivates you to achieve your goals? 

My own life coach and in built desire I've always had to make the very most of the life I have and all the opportunities we have in this country to create a wonderful life. I'm especially happy when I'm helping others. 


What book do you think every woman should read? 

'Thrive'  by Adriana Huffington. It's full of ideas on what's really important in life and how to achieve it, starting with encouragement to get enough sleep! 


If you could turn back the clock to when you were 25 years old - what advice would you give yourself? 

Believe in yourself! I was full of self doubt at that age! 


And finally - what's your favourite indulgence? 

Chocolate! 




Learn more about the services Catherine provides by visiting her website - Style and Coach



Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Young British Designers Dot Com

Alexander McQueen was discovered by Isabella Blow, without her, his path to becoming a British treasure through his creative fashion designs, may not have happened.  Chanel, Dior, YSL, DVF, Vivienne Westwood, the list can go on and on - they all have one thing in common, they all had to start from the beginning.

For those today seeking a new venture, that is the starting point; the beginning is about waiting for someone to give you a first order or perhaps a connection with someone or something that can just get you off the mark.

And so you see when I read this article "Meet Fashion's Fairy Godmother" from Sunday's YOU magazine, I was really inspired by the work of Debra Hepburn and her husband Julian. Both successful professionals who have set up an online business youngbritishdesigners.com - and it basically does what it says on the tin!


website


Debra and Julian have invested in young British designers, buying their entire first collections and selling them online.  How fantastic is that?!  And so it got me thinking as to why YOU the consumer should consider buying into this concept, because it's not as cheap as the High Street and these designers do not have a name for themselves, yet.

Here's what I came up with...
  • Your buying into British design - need I say more?!
  • Bored of the High Street and can't afford Designer - this is the half-way house
  • And with that, the concern of bumping into someone wearing the same as you - is unlikely to happen!
  • It's like a piece of art - your buying into the artist in their infancy and one day, possibly, your investment could be worth more, e.g. vintage Chanel, Dior, YSL and so on! 
  • A lot of big brands nowadays are not investing in young designers, they are investing in celebrities - in fact quite a few are now not even selecting talent but those celebrities with high Social Media followers - so with this, it makes things harder for young talented designers 

Purchasing for the first time, I would personally opt for an accessory - it's an opportunity to experience their online buying process without the hassle of thinking "will it fit".  An accessory is always an investment and something you can style with numerous outfits and so making your investment stretch.

I've had a really good look around the site and seen some great pieces, here are a few that I am loving!


I really like this mini drawstring bag by Danielle Foster, named Bella, and it sounds extremely lush as it's 100% Italian Leather!
£280




This bell sleeved sweater by Charlie May is quite frankly fabulous!  Grey in colour and a mix of 50% Merino wool and 50% Cotton it looks so easy to wear and whilst deigned here in England it's made in Italy, that's sounds so glam.
£240






Rockins' super skinny black scarf has been inspired by designs of the 1920's and is made from 100% Silk Crepe de Chine, this is is a simple yet glamorous accessory to add to your wardrobe.
£85




I really hope my niece Ellie doesn't see this next one, she loves Pandas and she loves shopping - therefore making this Heart Eyed Panda Tote a must have!  A collaboration between illustrator Will Broome and designer Kate Sheridan.  I simply love it!
£69





When it came to the dresses, it was hard to pick just one!  I would say there is something for everyone, and a great place to start if your looking for something unique to wear to a wedding.  

Thinking about cost, I don't think you can go wrong with this effortless William Vest Top Dress by LF Markey, 100% Cotton.
£159




And so you see, I think there is something for everyone and who know's if you look after it, it may be worth more in years to come.  And so to buy British design, simply try youngbritishdesigners.com






Monday, 30 May 2016

The slogan tee and a little lippy...

I love slogans and mottos!

Instagram and Facebook are full of them, everyone sharing and liking it can sometimes feel that all things have been said and then someone powers through with another one!  Typical are Chanel quotes, fashion statements and not forgetting WELL-BEING mantras!

Well I've jumped onto this ship and here's mine, MOVE ON, DREAM BIG.  I needed this tee the moment I saw it in H&M; I stood in the middle of store saw the mannequin wearing it and said to my sister-in-law Sadie, I need this tee! Within less than five minutes I had tried on and it was purchased!






  



I'm wearing it here with my new Spring jacket from Zara - not quite such a quick purchase! I think I tried on over 20 jackets over a few weeks, and after a shopping spree with Sadie and then a trip to Nottingham with Annie & Kat, I finally settled on this, and I love it!  Dress it up or wear it casual it's perfect for this time of year where it's not quite yet warm enough to go without and we all want to ditch that winter feeling!!

In Nottingham, I went into a Kiko beauty store, my original intention was to purchase a new lipgloss from M&S by Rosie Huntington-Whitely, her new range didn't really inspire me and after trying a few I decided it wasn't for me.

Kiko (Make Up Milano) was like a sweetie shop for women; shelves and shelves of make-up in rainbows of colour and all at very reasonable prices.  My purchase below is Creamy Lipgloss 113, the same shade as my new tee - it looks fabulous on!



And so you see with a great slogan on a tee priced £7.99 and some new lippy at £4.99, you can update your look and how you feel with hardly spending a penny.

A coupe of tips for selecting a tee with a message on it; people will ask you questions, you can't get mad at them for that, you've made a statement so you need to own it!  The other thing to watch out for is how it could be apt, I have a She Died Of Beauty tee that has a slogan on it of "She Died Of Individuality" now if someone else had rocked up to whatever venue I was wearing it at, not really unique!!


Here's one from Juicy Couture "Stay Glam" a little over-priced at £80!

Very.co.uk - Juicy Couture
£80





One for Chanel loves, of course! Although I think I'm loving the gold clothes hanger more!!

Esty.com
£14.02 plus shipping






For this one, I would prefer to change the order to Diamonds, Champagne and then Lipstick!

InLoveWithFashion.com
£17.99






And just in case you did want to copy me ;)

She Died Of Beauty
£40







Sunday, 8 May 2016

The Longevity Book and a Lady called Bo

Do I want to live to 100?

Do YOU want to live to 100?

For me personally, I would of course love to get to that age but only if I have my health, my home comforts and with the love of my family and friends around me.  Isn't that want we all want?

Over the last few weeks I seem to have been caught up within this world of asking this question; firstly it started with the BBC programme "How To Stay Young" with the gorgeous 71 years young Angela Rippon co-presenting with a much younger Dr Chris van Tulleken - they both travel the world to see the latest discoveries and experiments that demonstrate that certain cultures that adopt particular activities and foods can help with this.  My greatest learning from watching this was "don't keep doing the same thing" - our brains and bodies love the challenge of all things new, it stretches the grey matter!  

They also had a test that both my hubby and I tried; you have to get, from standing position (no shoes), down onto the floor with your legs crossed and then without the help of your arms get back up to standing - you lose "years" if you put a knee down or both. Very funny to do... perhaps not one after you've had a glass or two! 


And then I got reading this book by Cameron Diaz, The Longevity Book - I thought this was going to be about the latest health kicks in celebrity world, but nope it wasn't!



What I discovered was a world about how the female body ages, written by Cameron Diaz and Sandra Bark who together embark on a journey to discovery more about their quest to learn about the ageing process.  I'm 41 years old and I learnt things about my body that I'm ashamed to say, I didn't know about! Informative and empowering I think this is a must read for all ladies, especially those who have not yet embarked on the menopause.

I love the fact they have dedicated the book to our own journey; Cameron suggests throughout that they present the facts but everyone is different, and the only person who can help you achieve a healthy and well-balance approach to ageing, is yourself.

The book is in three parts; the first covers of things like the past and the learnings from that time, what scientists have done for us over time and most importantly the benefits we all receive in modern day life, medicine.

Part 2 is the bit I found most interesting; probably because I was learning so much stuff! They cover off topics like "The biological impact of genes, choices and attitudes",  they describe "cellular ageing" and the stage of menopause - which let's be honest is not usually covered off in any general health books.

The final part actually covered what I thought the book was about originally!! How to build a strong body, information on food, fitness and general well-being.  The section on "how to build a stronger brain" just kept reinforcing the positive benefits of continuous learning.

A book to share with your girlfriends, a book to read more than once!  



And now for a Lady called Bo...

... Vogue is 100 years old, and Harvey Nichols has chosen to celebrate this by having a photo shoot using a model who is 100 years old, Bo Gilbert.


Image from Vogue
She is wearing bespoke Valentino glasses, a Dries Van Noten coat, a Victoria Beckham top, a Lanvin necklace and trousers by The Row.  Doesn't she look F A B U L O U S !!!

And it goes to prove that the article "26 Is Old In Fashion" by Lauren Milligan for Vogue is a load of nonsense - there should be more older models both in magazines, in brand campaigns and on the catwalk.

The centenarian, from Birmingham, tells her story throughout the film, she talks about her love of clothes, how she likes to make the effort every day to look nice but NOT for the boys. How she would love for hats to come back into daily fashion and I truly love the ending when she gets super excited to see the finished photo, very touching! 

Here's a chance to see the film, and you can see the full ad in June's edition of Vogue out in shops now.





For those of you who receive my posts by email you need to click here to view the film.


And so you see, if I could be as healthy and as fit as the lovely Bo then the answer is Yes, but let's not forget that it is important to live for today and make the most out of every opportunity that comes our way - as did Bo when she was asked to model for the very first time, at 100 years young.




If you fancy catching up on "How To Stay Young" you can watch it on BBC iPlayer by clicking here.



Sunday, 1 May 2016

Spring Trend: Denim Dresses

Sorry it's been a while since I've blogged.  2016 did not get off to great start and I just needed some time out for a bit.  Thank you to my girlfriends who have been encouraging me to get back to blogging.  And so I thought I would kick start with one of my favourite pieces that I've been wearing over the last few months, and that's my denim dress from Whistles.

It all started with a £60 voucher that I had with Whistles - Did you know, that if you buy something in the sale from Whistles you cannot get a refund?  Apparently not, as I found out late last summer. Throughout winter I think I visited Whistles nearly every week to see what I could get with my voucher, but nothing really grabbed my attention.

In January I went to Florida and I wanted something more casual to wear, and I saw this denim dress. Even though I bought it for this specific trip, I didn't get to wear it out there and it made it's debut outing on my birthday when I went for lunch.

I've loved it from the start - dress it up with black shoe boots or dress it down like I do often with my Nike trainers, a versatile dress to say the least.



Photo by: Danielle Bailey


I bought these trainers whilst in Florida, I was a little unsure about buying trainers that are black in colour but they have worked so well with trousers, dresses and of course jeans when you need to put on something practical to get out and about in!


Love these trainers!!
Photo by: Danielle Bailey

Olive green works so well with denim and I found this bag from Oasis in the new year sales. Cross-over bags are great for shopping trips, keeps your hands free for all those shopping bags you need to carry!


Love this olive green cross-shoulder bag - Oasis
Photo by: Danielle Bailey


Photo by: Danielle Bailey
If you need to smarten the look then ditch the trainers and opt for shoe boots!!  Once the weather warms up the footwear options are endless from high-heeled brown sandals, to Havanas to pumps - versatility at it's best!